True Grit (1969) Script

Little Frank.

You take care of your ma. I will.

You're not travelling very heavy, Tom. I got all I need.

You should be taking the train, Frank. Fort Smith is too long a ride.

On Judy, 70 miles will be a pleasant outing.

Yarnell, you'll take care of the place for me.

You and my Mattie. Where's Mattie?

I'm here, Papa!

Well, Little Bookkeeper, got my wherewithal ready?

Of course. How much are you allowing me?

There's... right around...

...$150 cash money there.

Better hand me my good luck gold pieces, too.

Buying Texas mustang ponies, you'll need plenty of luck!

You'll come around to my plan. I intend to buy as many as I can swing.

We'll breed them for deer-hunting. They're small and chicken-brained!

I'd say small and tough, right for keeping up with dogs.

You want my advice, Papa? I always do.

Buy the ponies cheap. I expect to.

This Colonel Stonehill has got to get rid of them before winter.

Papa, that gun's old-fashioned. Buy a new one at Fort Smith.

It served me well at Chickamauga, and it's got a long way to go yet.

Goodbye, Papa!

Tom Chaney... Now there's trash for you.

It's his job to look after the place.

Papa took him in when he was starving and gave him a house.

Come, Mattie, it's only an old tool-shed.

You can still throw a cat through the south wall!

It's got a good roof.

This game's crooked! What?

You've been dealing me seconds!

Goddamn crooks! You're stackin' the decks!

Come on, Tom. We want to make an early start for home.

I'm going back in there. I want to get my money back!

Not full of whisky and with a gun. That's no way.

A gun'll say a whole lot quick. I won't allow you to get into trouble.

Gimme your gun. I'll give you one end of it!

Gimme the gun! Gimme your gun!

All aboard!

Where's the undertaker?

Round the corner from the courthouse, ma'am.

Thank you.

I can't understand all these people being here.

Everybody comes in from every place.

I'd like to know why. They're hanging three men today.

We'd better go and see about Papa.


Looks like he's out rustling up business for himself.

Seems like we have some time to waste before we see anybody.

I can tell you want to go to the hanging.

Afraid I can't. Your mama said keep an eye on you.

Well, I'll go along.

Don't worry, I won't tell Mama.

I was once lost But now am found Was blind but now I see

'Twas grace that taught My heart to fear And grace my fears relieved How sweet the sound...

That man up there on the porch...

That's Judge Parker. He watches all the hangings.

He says it's his sense of duty. Who knows what's in a man's heart?


The hangman's a Yankee.

They say he won't spring the trap on a boy that wore the blue.

No, I'm here, I'll see it all.

My goodness!

That's not a faint-hearted judge.

Chaney'll get his due before such a judge.

Is that the man?

That is my father.

If you would like to kiss him, it would be all right.


Put the lid on it.

I'm Mattie Ross of Dardanelle in Yell County.

And this is my friend, Yarnell Pointdexter, who works on our place.

Yes, ma'am. State your business.

My father was killed in Fort Smith by a coward named Tom Chaney.

What are you doing about the murder?

We do know this: His name's Chambers, he's in Indian territory.

We think he robbed a mail hack Tuesday down on the Poteau River.

He's medium height, with a black mark on his cheek.

That's Tom Chaney. There's no Chambers to it.

He got that black mark when a man fired a pistol in his face.

Why aren't you out looking for him? I've no authority in the Indian Nation.

He's now the business of the US Marshal.

Who's the best marshal they have? Bill Waters is the best tracker.

The meanest one is Rooster Cogburn, double-tough, knows no fear.

L T Quinn is the straightest. He brings them in alive.

Where would I find this Rooster? At the Federal Court this afternoon.

He's bringing in prisoners from the territory.

Is Chaney one of them? I don't know. That's federal business.

Your father's gun... you'll want to take it home, I expect.

His saddle is at Colonel Stonehill's stock barn, and the rest of his things are at the Monarch boarding house.

I won't rest till Tom Chaney's barking in hell!


You stay with Papa.

When you get home, put him in a better coffin with Mason's apron.

Your mama wants you home.

Mama knows I can take care of myself. Tell her not to sign anything till I return.

People'll take it wrong that I leave this to you, but I got Papa's business to see to.

Tell Mama I'm staying at the Monarch boarding house.

I'm going to see if Tom Chaney's been brought in.

And then I'll see this Rooster Cogburn.

All right, get outta the way! Back up!

Stand up!

Come on out!

Move along!

Are the prisoners from the Indian Territory?

Yes, ma'am. Is one of them Tom Chaney?

Cogburn ain't turned in his list yet.

Which marshal is Rooster Cogburn? The big fella with the eye-patch.

Come on!

All right, take it away!

Mr. Cogburn! Wait! Come back here!

Mr. Cogburn!

Come back here!

All right, come on up.

If he thinks I'm put off by a locked door, he doesn't know me!

I'll be here when it opens. Then you'll be mighty hungry.

Best time to nail him is tomorrow.

He's testifying before Judge Parker.

Thank you very much. I appreciate your kindness.

Have some more dumplings, dear?

At 25 cents per meal, I might just as well.

I was hoping you were enjoying them.

They're all right. I can't see 25 cents in a little flour and grease.

You're late, Mr. La Boof. The French is 'La Boeuf'.

I call it 'La Beef'.

Mr. La Beef came in this evening.

Your spurs, please.

My poor chairs are scratched enough already.

A right fancy rig, sir.

Watch out for the chicken and dumplings.

They'll hurt your eyes. How's that?

They'll hurt your eyes looking for the chicken!

You squirrel-headed bastard!

Howdy. What's your name?

I'd like to go to bed now. But first I'd like to see my father's traps.

I'll take a guess and say your name is Mattie Ross.

Mr. La Beef is a handsome man. He needs a bath and a shave.

He hails from Texas. Judge he's proud of his cowlick.

How did he guess my name? He's a good guesser, I guess!

We're short of rooms on account of the hanging.

You'll sleep in here with Grandma Turner.

Don't worry about Grandma Turner, she's used to doubling up.

I take it my rent will be half, then?

These are your father's traps. The watch and the knife are inside.

Chaney stole his money and his horse.

What do you think of Marshal Rooster Cogburn?

Rooster Cogburn! I've heard some terrible things about him!

He loves to pull a cork, I know that!

His Honour, Judge Parker! All rise!

I'll have a peppermint to settle my stomach.

Yes, sir.

The United States Court of the Western District, having criminal jurisdiction in the Indian Territory, is now in session.

Is that Judge Parker, the hanging judge?

He's a tough customer. There's no appeal except to the President himself!

Call Deputy Marshal Cogburn.

Mr. Reuben J Cogburn will take the stand.

You were sworn this morning, you're still sworn.

Defence will cross-examine.

Mr. Cogburn, you testified for the prosecution this morning.

Allow me to summarise what you said. According to your story...

...C.C. Wharton grabbed a shotgun and killed Marshal Potter.

Then he turned the gun on you, and you shot him.

Then the father swung his axe, and you shot him, too.

The defendant tried to run, you say, and you also shot him.

Just winged him, or he wouldn't be here to pay up!

The old man and CC hit the ground dead.

How long have you been a Deputy Marshal, Mr. Cogburn?

Four years, come March.

How many men have you shot in that time?

The prosecution objects! Overruled!

How many men have you shot since becoming a marshal?

I never shot nobody I didn't have to! That's not the question. How many?

Shot or killed?

Let's restrict it to killed, a more manageable figure!

Well, twelve to fifteen, stopping men in flight and defending myself.

Twelve to fifteen? So many you can't keep a specific count.

I have examined the records.

A more accurate figure is available. Come now, how many?

Counting them two Whartons, twenty-three.

I felt you'd come to it with a little effort.

Twenty-three dead men in four years. That makes about six men a year!

It's a dangerous business. How much more for those you arrest!

Is it not true that you sprang upon the Whartons with a deadly six-shot revolver?

I always try to be ready. Was this revolver loaded and cocked?

A gun that's unloaded ain't good for nothing!

Just answer, if you please.

The question don't make sense! Don't bandy words with counsel.

Yes, sir.

You testified you backed away from old man Wharton.

Yes, sir. Which direction?

Backward! I always go backward when I'm backing away!

I appreciate the humour of that remark.

Aaron Wharton was standing by a pot when you arrived?

More like squatting. He was stirring the fire under the pot.

How far did you back away? Six, eight steps.

Meaning Wharton advanced the same distance? Six or eight steps?

Sixteen feet? Something like that.

Then explain why the body was found by the wash pot, one arm in the flames, the sleeve and hand smouldering.

Them hogs! They may have moved the body.

Hogs, indeed!

Mr. Goudy, do you have any more questions?

None that I'll get a straight answer to. I'm finished with him.

You're dismissed, Mr. Cogburn.

Call the next witness!

Cecil Falling Leaf, take the stand!

Raise your right hand...

Mr. Rooster Cogburn? What is it?

I'd like to talk with you a minute. They say you're a man with true grit.

What do you want? Speak up!

You've already wrinkled the paper...

It's pretty loose because your makings are too dry.

I'm looking for Tom Chaney.

Well, who's he?

He shot and killed my father, Frank Ross.

He's in the Indian Territory. I need somebody to go after him.

Who are you? Mattie Ross.

My family has 480 acres of good bottomland in Yell County.

Mother's home looking after my baby sister and brother.

Why don't you go home and leave me alone?

They'll need help with the churning!

Mr. Cogburn!

You can get a fugitive warrant for Chaney and $2 for bringing him in, plus 10 cents a mile for each of you, and I'll give you $50 reward!

You've looked into this right smart.

Yes, I mean business.

What have you got in your poke?

By God, girl, that's a Colt's Dragoon!

You're no bigger than a corn nubbin. What are you doing with this pistol?

My father carried it bravely in the war.

I intend to kill Tom Chaney with it if the law fails.

This'll sure get the job done, if you can find a fence post to rest it on while you take aim!

I'm afraid nothing'll be done about Chaney unless I do it myself.

I don't think you've got $50. After my horse-trading, I'll have it.

Do you know the robber Lucky Ned Pepper?

I know him... well!

I shot him in the lip last August over at Winding Stair Mountains.

He was lucky that day, my shooting was off!

Well, I think Chaney's tied up with him.

Yeah? Yeah!

Ned Pepper, huh? Yeah...

Baby sister, I don't think you can get $50.

But I'll take you home and give you supper.

We'll talk it over, make medicine. How does that suit you?

Right down to the ground.

I'd like to meet your family.

This is my father, Chen Lee.

And my nephew, General Sterling Price.

You want more, Missy?

I've had enough, and enough is as good as a feast.

I've never seen chopsticks work before.

Chopsticks save the fingers.

Gimme your cup. I don't drink coffee, thank you.

Well, what do you drink? I'm partial to cold buttermilk.

Well, we ain't got none of that. We ain't got no lemonade either.

Let's get to the game.

My deal? Yes, sir.

What about my proposition? Thinking on it.

Sounds like a mighty easy way to make $50 to me.

Don't crowd me, I'm figuring expenses.

How you can play cards, drink whisky and think detective at the same time?

Well, if I have to go up against Ned Pepper, it'll cost $100, I figure.

And 50 in advance.

You're trying to take advantage of me. They're my children's rates!

It isn't going to be easy smoking old Ned out.

He'll be holed up down that Indian Nation.

Well, I'm not going to keep you in whisky!

I don't buy that, I confiscate it!

A touch of it wouldn't do you any harm against the night air!

It's the real article, genuine double-rectified bust-head!

Aged in the keg.

I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains.

Well, sis, my price is $100. There it is. Want to make medicine?

I will think about your proposition.

You better walk me over to the boarding house.

You are a lot of trouble.

Wait till I finish this hand.

You can't tell what's in a Chinaman's mind. That's the way he bests you!

I go.


Mr. Rat...

My writ here says you must stop eating Chen Lee's cornmeal forthwith.

It's a rat writ, writ for a rat, and this is lawful service of same.

See, he doesn't pay any attention to me.

Outside is the place for shooting!

I'm serving some papers.

That was your job in the first place!

You can't serve papers on a rat, baby sister.

You've got to kill him or let him be.

Are you going to drink all of that?

Judge Parker... Old Carpetbagger!

But he knows his rats. We had a good court...

...until those pettifogging lawyers moved in.

The ratcatcher's too tough on the rats!

"Give them rats a fair show," they say.

What fair show did they give old man Potter?

Tell me that. Finer man never lived.

You're useless in this condition.

I'll walk over there by myself.

You scared of the dark? Never!

If I had a big horse-pistol like that, I wouldn't be scared of the booger man.

I'm not scared of no booger man.

Sugar? No thanks.

Cream? Please.

Just a dab.

Miss Ross!

I'd like some private words with you.

And you I find a sweet distraction, as most men do.

Will you excuse us? Of course, Mr. La Beef.

What do you want of me? Who are you?

I'm nobody yet, but I expect to go high.


To begin with, I expect to marry well.

You have the haircomb for it.

How did you know my name? I saw your mother yesterday.

What business did you have with her?

This. Can you identify the man in this picture?

That's a likeness of Chaney, with no black mark on his face.

But that's him.

I'm looking for him, and you are, too. I know all about your father.

Why didn't you show me this last night?

I only take one step at a time. That's why I was given two feet.

His real name is Theron Chelmsford. He killed a senator in Waco, Texas.

I've been on his trail almost 4 months.

You're some kind of law? I'm a sergeant in the Texas Rangers.

I'm working for the family of the late senator.

Chelmsford, or Chaney, shot the senator's bird dog.

The senator threatened to whip him, and Chaney shot him.

Don't worry about Chaney any more. I aim to have him hanged.

The sheriff told me you were looking for a man to go after him.

I've already found one for the job, Rooster Cogburn.

He's the toughest deputy marshal they have.

Maybe I'll throw in with you and the federal marshal.

You'll have to talk to him. There's mutual advantage.

He knows the land, and I know Chaney.

It's at least a two-man job to take him alive.

I must have him alive down to Texas.

We're not taking him back to Texas. We'll take him to Fort Smith to hang.

Is it important where he hangs? It is to me.

More so to me. There's a lady in Waco who'd look favourably on me.

A hanging in Texas would serve just as well.

No! I want Chaney to pay for killing my father, not for some bird dog!

It won't be for the dog! It'll be for the senator and your father.

He'll be just as dead.

If I couldn't find Chaney in 4 months, I would not advise others how to do it!

Earlier I thought of stealing a kiss from you, although you are very young and unattractive to boot!

But now I'd sooner give you some licks with my belt!

One would be as unpleasant as the other!

You Texans are ignorant of our ways.

We don't go easy on men who abuse women and children.

Texan children show more respect for their elders.

Texans gouge their horses with brutal spurs and cultivate their hair like lettuce!

You'll push that saucy line too far.

I have no regard for you, but I'm sure you have enough for yourself to go around!

They are all for sale.

Except those four scrubby ones.

And... who do they belong to? The heirs of the late Frank Ross.

I'm Mattie Ross, and I'd like to sell you back those ponies.

That's out of the question.

My father bought them for breeding, but they're all geldings.

You cannot breed geldings. That hardly concerns me.

He bought four ponies for $100, and there's an end of it.

I want $300 for Papa's saddle horse, stolen from your barn.

Take that up with the man who stole it. He stole it while it was in your care.

You are responsible.

I admire your sand, but... I'm not liable.

I will take it to the law. Do as you think best.

We'll see if a widow and three children can get fair treatment in these courts.

You have no case. Lawyer Daggett may think otherwise.

You are impudent. I do not wish to be, sir.

But I will not be pushed about.

I'll take it up with my attorney. And I with mine.

He and I will make money, and your lawyer will make money.

And you, Mr. Auctioneer, will foot the bill!

You're a damned nuisance!

Who is this famous pleader, of whom I was ignorant 10 minutes ago?

You've heard of the Great Arkansas River Vicksburg and Gulf Company?

I have done business with the GAV & G, yes.

My lawyer forced them into receivership.

They tried to mess with him.

All right, come inside.

Sit down.

I will pay a total of $200 to your father's estate when I have in my hand a letter absolving me of all liability from the beginning of the world to date!

I want $200 for the horse duty plus another $100 for the ponies.

The ponies have no part in this. I won't buy them back.

I'll keep the ponies, and the price for Judy will be $300.

I wouldn't pay that for Pegasus! Listen, as I will not bargain further.

I will take the ponies back, keep your father's saddle for $200.

My lawyer would not wish me to consider anything under $300.

That's for everything except the saddle.

I would like to have that in writing, for what it's worth.

When I have it in my hand, I'll remit the extortion money.

This is your release. You'll find it in order.

You had that already written out.

I'll give you a cheque. I prefer cash.

One hundred, two hundred...

...three hundred.

You'll find a buyer for those ponies very soon.

I have a tentative offer of $10 a head from the soap works at Little Rock.

Such a shame to render spirited horseflesh into soap.

I'm sure the deal will fall through. Expect me back for my saddle.

I'm sure I can!

Do you know a Marshal Rooster Cogburn?

Most people know Rooster Cogburn, and some live to regret it.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn he's a relative of yours!

Morning. Good morning.

Where's Mr. Cogburn? Sleep late. Very drunk last night.

I've never seen anybody in bed at 10 AM who wasn't sick.


You ain't such an early bird yourself!

I almost gave up on you, figured you'd gone home.

You need more slats in that bed. Ain't no slats in it at all.

Some kind of a Chinese rope bed torture contraption, I'd burn...

You got it! How much is there?

You still game?

I was born game, and I intend to go out that way.

All right, one understanding: We leave this afternoon to get him.

You're not going! You misjudge me.

I can't go up against Pepper's gang, looking after a baby at the same time!

I'm not a baby. There's no hot grub or warm beds.

I've slept out at night before while hunting coons.

This ain't no coon-hunt. It's no place for a kid.

They said that about coon-hunting. You'll be calling for Mama!

I've left off crying.

Make up your mind. If you're not game, I'll find somebody who is.

I know you can drink whisky, and I saw you kill a rat, but all the rest has been talk, and I'm not paying for talk.

I ought to paddle your rump! How do you propose to do that?

If I smelled as bad as you, I wouldn't live near people!

I've made up a short agreement between us.

Sign it.

Here's $25.

I'll give you another $25 when we leave and $50 when the job is done.

We can get started at first light.

We'll cross the ferry and talk to an informer in the Indian Nation.

He might know something.

I'll be more than ready.

Well, General...

Look what we got.

There's an old saw that says:

"One white foot, buy him,"

"two white feet, try him,"

"three white feet, be on the sly,"

"four white feet, pass him by."

But I don't hold with that.

I just heard that a young girl fell head first into a fifty-foot well.

I thought perhaps it was you.

No, it was not I.

What do you hear from the soap man?

Nothing. I'll take one of the ponies.

The black one with the white stockings. I'll call him Little Blackie.

What is your offer? The market price.

The soap man offered you $10 a head...

That is a lot price. I paid you $25 a head only this morning.

That was the price then. Tell me this...

Do you entertain plans of ever leaving this city?

Yes, I'm off early tomorrow morning for the Indian Nation.

Marshal Cogburn and I are going after the murderer Tom Chaney.


How did you light on that greasy vagabond?

They say he has grit.

I wanted a man with grit. I suppose he has that.

He's a notorious thumper. Not a man I would care to share a bed with.

Nor would I. I wouldn't trust him too much.

I paid a token payment. The balance is paid when the job's done.

It may prove to be a long, hard journey.

A Christian does not flinch from these difficulties.

Neither does he rashly court them. He is not wilful or presumptuous.

You think I'm wrong? I think you are wrong-headed.

I'll pay $12 for that pony...

...if you shoe him for me. I will not ride a barefoot pony.

Good morning. Good morning!


What are you doing here? Having a chat with the marshal.

Sit down, sis, have some taffy.

This jaybird says he's on the track of the same man.

I told him we're not interested. He's gone behind my back.

A fella that carries a big-bore carbine might come in handy, if we get jumped by elephants or buffalo!

We don't need him.

Everything ready? All but the grub.

I must have the wrong man.

You let little girls hooraw you? Mind repeating that, jaybird?

The marshal's working for me.

How much is she paying you? Enough.

Is she paying you $500?


That's what the Governor of Texas is paying on conviction of Chaney.

$500? Very little for a man who's killed a senator.

Bibbs was a little senator.

I guess I'll just stick with sis.

The Bibbs family's put up another $1,500 for Chaney.

What are the terms? Just deliver Chaney, alive or dead.

That's more to my liking. How will you split up the money?

If we take him alive, I'll split the $1,500 and keep the state's $500.

If we kill him, I'll give you $500 of the Bibbs' money.

I don't want Chaney taken back to Texas.

He wants him punished, so do you. I want him to hang for my father.

I don't care about senators in Texas.

You can tell him to his face. You can make him eat sand.

You can shoot him in the foot, but first we gotta catch him!

You can't have it all your own way. I've paid for it so I'll have it my way.

I don't understand at all.

She ain't going anyhow. Go home to your mama.

I told her she could go. No. She'll make trouble.

Maybe I'll catch this Chaney by myself and take all the money.

You might deliver him, but I'd see you didn't collect a thing.

How'd you do that? I'd dispute your claim.

Do that, and I'll kill you.

Don't count on shading someone you don't know, fella.

I ain't seen no one from Texas I couldn't shade!

La Beef, you cross me and you'd think a thousand bricks had fell on you.

You'll wish you was back at the Alamo!

Knock him down, Rooster! That reward's just La Beef's talk.

I've given you good cash. He'll cheat you!

A fella's gotta think about himself sometimes, sister.

We'll get your man, that's the main thing.

Give me my $25 back. Hand it over!

I spent it.

You sorry piece of trash. I'll get it for you.

If you think you can cheat me, you're mistaken.

You may well hear from my lawyer!

Lawyer? What lawyer?

Don't worry about him. Worry about our business at hand.

Red. Morning.

River looks kind of high. It's been raining up-country.

Who are you looking for this time? If I told you, you might tell him.

Well... you're well enough armed.

I'd say, "Tom Chaney, look out!"

Can't you get anything through your head? You're not going!

Forget about the freight and take us across.

You're not getting on this ferry!

This is open to the public. I've paid my 10 cents.

Take this girl to the sheriff. She's a runaway.

There's a $50 reward. That's a big story!

Ask the marshal. She's a runaway all right.

Bound to be paper on her. They're in this together.

I've got business across the river. If you stop me, I'll see you in court!

I've got a good lawyer.

That lawyer again. She draws him like a gun!

I will not walk up that hill!

I'm not going to let $50 slide. Get on that horse.

Wait a minute.

I ought to fix my hat.

By God!

She reminds me of me!

Then we might just not get along.

Well, you were a little slow getting across.

I said you weren't going. Go back! I'll do no such thing!

La Beef...

Those horses can't get away from Little Blackie.

They're loaded down with fat men and iron.

Now we'll see what tune you sing!

I'll raise welts on you like worms! See what good it does you.

You're not hurting me. I'm just mad!

Are you gonna let him do this? I don't believe I will. Drop the switch!

Put it down. You're enjoying it too much.

I go ahead with what I start.

You do, and it'll be the biggest mistake you ever made!

You've taken her part all along, but you ain't doing her no kindness.

Just leave her alone.

This has given me a plan.

When we locate Chaney, we can jump him this way and knock him out.

Then we can tie him up and take him back alive.

What do you think? You don't want to know what I think.

Get on your horse.

It's not dinnertime?

Dinnertime'll come and go without notice on this trip. Get on your horse.

Presbyterian, huh? Southern or Cumberland?

Southern. My folks are Cumberland.

I was raised in the Episcopal Church.

I figured you for some kind of kneeler!

What did you learn?

Ned was sighted at McAlester's store about three days ago.

He goes there from time to time to see a lewd woman.

A thief named Haze is with him and a Mexican on a round-bellied pony.

Chaney wasn't seen, but he was in on that mail hijacking job.


This is worse than a pig trail! Shortest way to McAlester's.

How far is it? Around 60 miles.

We'll make 15 today and get an early start tomorrow.

How do you like this coon-hunt?

Don't be looking around for me. I'll be right here.

You look like a hog on ice!

The bucket's heavy.

I'm stronger than I look.

What did you bring to eat? Salt.

Red pepper.


Carry those in your pockets? Yeah. Along with...

...cartridges and skinning knife.

What are those things? Corn dodgers.

How many have you got in there? It must be 175.

I can scarcely credit that.

Chen Lee must've thought it was for a wagonload of marshals.

That tastes like iron.

You're lucky to be where water's so handy.

I've drunk out of a filthy hoofprint, and I was glad to get it.

If ever I meet one of you Texans who ain't drunk from a hoofprint, I'll shake their hand or buy them a Daniel Webster cigar!

How long you boys down there been mounted on sheep?

Have your little joke, but I'll tell you one thing:

That little fella'll still be running when your big stud is collapsed.


That fire's a little big if we're going to pass unnoticed.

Small fire is Ranger policy.

Listen, I have an idea.

I'll tell you the story of the Midnight Caller.

One of you plays the caller, I'll tell you what to say, and I'll play all the other parts.

Fine. Go ahead and tell it.

I'll tell it if you stop drinking. Let it go.

That, baby sister, is no trade.

At least Little Blackie likes the corn dodgers.

It's the salt in them.

We won't get to McAlester's by dark.

We'd better head for an empty dugout I know.

We can eat your turkey there. How? It's all ripped up.

Yeah, pretty chewed.

Too much gun!

I thought you said it would be empty.

Who are you? What do you want?

We're looking for a place to sleep.

There's no room for you here.

Try that on the chimney.

I'm a federal officer! Speak up, who's in there?

None of your damn business. Keep riding!

- Is that Emmett Quincy? We don't know Emmett Quincy.

Emmett, this is Rooster! I got five more marshals out here.

- We got a bucket of coal oil! Drink it!

One more minute and you're gonna drink it!

Chuck your guns out and follow them with your hands high!

If that coal oil goes down the chimney, we'll kill everyone that comes out!

There's no five marshals out there.

Don't you bet your life on it!

Moon can't walk, he's hit.

- Drag him out. What papers you got on me?

I got no papers on you. You better move!

Tell those others to be careful with their guns. We're coming out!

Hit the dirt! Belly down!


I forgot they were there.

Get inside, both of you.

Wrap that around your leg.

Put the horses in the lean-to.

Cuff them. Get up.

Sit down. Get down there.

You fellas are way too jumpy.

What have you been up to, besides stealing stock?

You ain't got no papers on us. No, but I got some John Does.

Resisting a federal officer, that's a year right there!

My leg hurts! I bet it does, sonny boy.

You sit still so it won't bleed so bad.

When did you last see Pepper? I don't remember any Pepper.

Short, feisty fella, nervous, with a messed-up lower lip.

That don't bring nobody to mind. A funny lip?

It wasn't always like that. I shot him in it.

The lower lip? What was you aiming at?

His upper lip!

Ned's got a new boy with him, a black mark on his face.

That don't bring nobody to mind either.

You don't know anything, do you? If I did, I wouldn't blow.

How about you?

I always help the law, if it don't harm my friends.

Pretty good idea, otherwise I'll turn you in at Fort Smith.

By that time your leg'll be swollen up tighter than Dick's hatband!

Mortified and they'll cut it off.

If you live, I'll get you 3 or 4 years in a penitentiary.

You're trying to get at me. If you talk, I'll take you to McAlester's.

They'll get that ball out of your leg, and I'll give you...

...2 or 3 days to get out of the territory.

Moon, I'll do the talking!

Listen to him, you'll lose your leg or your life.

Quincy ain't hurting. He ain't got nothing on us.

Been looking around. Six horses. What kind of horses?

Right good mounts. All shod.

They're waiting for somebody. You don't say!

If you won't talk, you can keep busy. Cut that up for frying.

What are you looking at? Who are you?

I'm Mattie Ross of Yell County.

What's she doing here?

She's after the man that killed her father.

His name is Chaney, a whisky drinker like you. It led to killing in the end.

Answer the marshal's questions, he'll help you. My lawyer'll help, too.

Don't jaw with these people, Moon.

I don't like the way you look. Talking to me, runt?

And I don't like the way you're cutting up that turkey.

He's making a mess of that turkey! Do it right, or you'll eat the feathers.

I hope you go to jail.

Shame a kid like Moon losing his leg.

Too young to be hopping around on a willow peg.

Loves to dance too much and sports.

You're trying to get at me again. With the truth!

We saw Ned two days ago... You go on, I'll kill you!

Quincy, I got to have a doctor. I'll tell what I know.

Lord, I'm gonna die! Help me.

I can't do a thing for you.

Your partner's killed you, and I've done for him.

Don't let the wolves get me! I'll see you get buried.

Where's Ned Pepper?

They're gonna rob the Katy Flyer. They're coming here for remounts.

See a fella with a powder burn on his face?

No. My brother...

...George Garrett, Methodist circuit rider out of Austin, Texas.

When's Pepper due here?

Sell my traps and send the money to my brother.

Shall we tell your brother what happened?

It doesn't matter. He knows.

I'll meet him later, walking the streets of glory.

Don't expect to see Quincy there.


He never played me false until he killed me.

Let me have a cool drink of water.

It felt as though I still had fingers there.

Let me have that.

It's one of Papa's gold pieces. You sure?

It was minted in California. It's worth over $36.

Grandpa gave Papa two when he married.

Looks like we're on Chaney's trail. At least we're on Ned's.

Gimme the key to these cuffs. Now go saddle the horses.

Moon said they were coming here. You aim to run?

I aim to do what I came here to do. Saddle the horses.

Straighten up the place.

Take your horse and find a position over there.

I'll be on this side. Don't shoot unless I do.

We want them in that dugout.

I'll shoot the last man in the door and we'll have them.

You'll shoot him without a call? Then he'll know we're serious.

I'll holler down after I shoot, see if anyone wants to be taken alive.

But when they won't, we'll shoot them!

I want Chaney alive. So does the Governor of Texas.

All I know is there's a lot of them and only two of us.

Why don't I nick Chaney before he gets inside?

Any shooting before they get inside, and they'll break.

We're apt to come up with an empty sack.

All right, but if they break, I'll nick Chaney.

If you hit Chaney with your rifle, you'll kill him!

Remember the turkey! Yeah.

You go after Ned, I'll take care of Chaney.

What does Ned look like? Short, feisty, doing all the talking.

Where does she go? I go where Rooster goes.

Stay here and keep the horses quiet.

I can't see anything from over there. You've seen enough killing today.

I'm not staying by myself. Wait, I'll get my revolver.

What for?

So you can shoot your own foot off?

Why do you keep that one chamber empty?

So I won't shoot my foot off!

Corn dodger? Light a match and let me see it first.

What for? Some have got blood on them.

We ain't lighting no matches.

I don't want any.

What did you do before this?

Just about everything... except keep school.

How did you lose your eye? It was in the war.

The Lone Jack, a scrap outside Kansas City.

What did you do after the war?

I robbed a paymaster, went to Illinois and bought an eating place, married a grass widow.

The place had a billiard table.

You never told me you had a wife. I didn't have her long.

My friends were a pack of river rats, and she didn't crave their society.

She upped and left me and went back to her first husband in Paducah.

"Goodbye, Reuben," she says, "the love of decency ain't in you."

That's a divorced woman talking for you about decency.

I told her, "Goodbye, Nola."

"I hope that bastard makes you happy this time."

Did you have any children?

There was a boy, Nola took him with her.

He never liked me anyway.

A clumsier child you'll never see than Horace.

I bet he broke forty cups!

Never did get you for stealing that money?

I didn't consider it stealing. It didn't belong to you.

I needed a road stake. Like that bank in New Mexico.

I needed a road stake, and there it was.

I never robbed no citizen or took a man's watch!

It's all stealing.

That's the position those New Mexicans took.

I had to flee for my life!

Bo was a young colt then, no horse could run him into the ground.

When that posse thinned out, I turned Bo around and, taking the reins in my teeth, charged them boys firing two Navy Sixes.

They must have been married men who loved their families, 'cause they scattered and ran for home!

You don't have any family, do you? Except Chen Lee and that lazy cat.

General Price don't belong to me. Cats don't belong to nobody!

He just rooms with me. Course I depend on him...


Baby sister, you better try and get some sleep.

I'll wake you up when they get here.


Looks like Moon was telling the truth.

What are they doing? Smelling around.

You see Chaney?

I can't make out their faces.

That's Ned Pepper, all right.

Quincy! Moon!

That's him hollering.

That's the original Mexican Bob with him.

There's more than one? There's a younger one.

But he ain't a patch to this one.



Now he's done it!

Over here, Ned!

I'm hit.

They don't call him Lucky Ned Pepper for nothing.

That man gave his life for him. He didn't even look back.

Looking back is a bad habit.


What's your story?

I was on the move to a better place, and I heard the first shot.

More likely asleep!

You know who they are? The one on the sand spit's Haze.

The boy? I don't know.

He's not much older than I am.

That's nothing but a little scratch.

That's nothing to do with you. Go make us some coffee!

It won't take long. Let it go and go on inside!

Why are you being so foolish?

You're quite a horse-shooter. I was trying for Ned Pepper.

Next time try for the horse and maybe you'll hit Pepper!

What are we waiting for? Let's ride after them.

I say no. I know where they're going to earth.

You can't take men by watching them run away.

I know this country, and I know these men.

We'll take the horses and the dead into McAlester, and I'll put in a claim for any reward the railroad may offer.

You backed up? Some... for now.

Damn a man that whistles! He's keeping his mind off his hand.

You don't think very much of me, do you?

I don't think about you at all, if you keep quiet.

I was told that you rode with Quantrell and that border trash.

I heard Quantrell and his men weren't soldiers but murdering thieves.

I heard the same thing.

I heard they murdered women and children.

I heard that, too, and it's a damn lie.

What outfit were you with during the war?

Shreveport, with Kirby Smith. I mean what side were you on?

I served with General Kirby Smith.

I don't have to hang my head when I say it.

Go ahead, make me look foolish in her eyes.

You don't need me for that.

I don't like the way you make conversation.

I don't like your conversation about Captain Quantrell.

Captain? Captain of what? A bunch of thieves?

Young fella, if you're looking for trouble, I'll accommodate you.

Otherwise... leave it alone.

I've been thinking about Pepper.

Maybe he'd have murdered those two so they wouldn't inform on him.

Ned wouldn't do that. Why not?

He doesn't kill people for no reason.

Had he a reason, he'd kill them.

Looks like we might joggle some of our passengers off.

Well, they're past hurting.

We'll tie up here, if you don't mind? Sure, marshal, you've quite a load.

Yeah... about half the load I was looking for.

Go in and meet Mrs. McAlester, she'll fix some dinner.

I want a word with the peace officer. I'll go, too.

I'll tell the wife to fix something for all of you.

You go inside, maybe Mrs. McAlester can fix that poor little hand of yours!

My poor little hand can keep.

Rooster! What are you doing here?

Boots! Gaspargo!

You're letting that Indian behind you with a blade?

'Cause I'm an Indian. Plenty of scalps on Indian belts!

If you're after Ned Pepper, you're on a cold trail here.

We're looking for another man, too. Black mark on his face.

We think he's running with Ned. That's a Texan peace officer!

Ned passed through a couple of days ago.

Him, Haze, Mexican Bob. Only those three were seen.

I know where Ned's holed up. You'll need 100 marshals to get him!

My name is Mattie Ross from Yell County.

That man with the black mark killed my father. He's called Chaney.

I got Haze and some youngster outside with Moon and Quincy.

I want you to bury 'em for me. I'm in a hurry.

They're dead?

I wouldn't want you to bury them if they weren't!

What about La Beef's hand? Gaspargo's a good doctor, too.

Take care of it. It can wait.

You're no good use if handicapped. And small use if he ain't!

Wash first. Why?

Don't you wash before you eat? Ain't gonna eat his hand.

Don't you know about germs? No...

Go wash, Gaspargo. You lost!

That's Moon.


Haze! First time he ever stayed shot!

I know this boy. Billy Walsh. Comes from a good family.

Hold good Billy for his folks and bury the rest of them.

I'll post their names. If anyone wants them, they can dig them up.

Sell their horses, coats, guns and saddles, and I'll split it with you.

You told Moon you'd send money to his brother.

I forget where to send it. The Methodist church, Austin.

Are you sure it was Austin and not Dallas?

You know it was Austin!

Write it out for the captain.

Boots, send this man $10 and tell him he's buried here.

I'll do that. So this man shot Ned Pepper's horse?

Yeah, this is the famous horse-killer from El Paso!

He believes in putting everybody afoot. Less mischief that way.

Fewer horses, fewer horse-thieves!

How's your hand?

Both rifle and hand are ready to shoot again.

Straighter than before, I hope!

Well, sister!

The time has come for me to ride hard and fast.

You stay here with the McAlesters, and I'll be back soon with Chaney.

You can't get shed of me. She's come this far.

It's far enough. I won't quit when we're so close.

There's something in what she's saying. She's won her spurs.

Let it go. I've said my piece.

No more talk of "winning spurs"! I'm going.

Not because you say I can or can't.

I paid good money to be here, and I'm on my own business.

We'll have no more talk about it!

Let's eat!

What are you doing?

Looking for a sign.

You couldn't see it if you saw it!

We'll walk a ways.

You looking for a sign again?

It was Bo.

He put his foot wrong.

He's tired.

This is no grade.

I've freighted iron stoves up harder grades than this.

We'll camp here.


I was a pretty fair hand with a jerk-line when I was freighting in Colorado.

I worked for a fella that was always down with something.

He was carrying a 21-foot tapeworm with his business responsibilities.

That aged him! His wife commenced running things.

I wasn't about to work for her, so I told her so.

Women have no generosity.

Lord God, how they hate to pay up!

A man will never work for a woman unless he's got clabber for brains!

What about the $25 I paid you?

What $25?

I will not bandy words with a drunkard!

That's real smart. You've done nothing when you've bested a fool.

We have come nearly 50 miles from McAlester's.

We're close to Ned Pepper's camp.

Tomorrow we'll take him.

If we're as close as you say, I don't think you should make a fire.

Nobody asked you.

Where are you going with that canteen?

Wash the sleep off me.

We got no water to spare for that. Just take a drink!

I'd say there's a stream down below.

You wash and you'll get no breakfast!

We'll waste no more time.

Shouldn't one of us go down with her?

It might not be safe.

It's safer for her than whatever she meets... or beast!

I know you. Little Mattie.

And I know you, Tom Chaney.

What are you doing? There's no money for you to squeeze here.

I came to fetch water. That was not my meaning.

I'm here to take you back to Fort Smith and hang you.

I won't go. How do you like that?

There's a posse of officers up the hill that'll force you to go.

How many officers? I'd say 50, and they mean business.

So you just walk right in front of me up that hill.

I think I'll oblige those officers to come after me.

If you refuse, I'll have to shoot you.

Is that so?

You'd better cock your piece.

All the way back until it locks.

I know how to do it.

You're saying you won't go with me of your own free will?

You just got it the other way around. Now you follow me!

I didn't think you'd do it. Sis!

Where are you? I'm down here. I got Chaney!

I just didn't think you'd do it!

One of my short ribs is broken!

You killed my father, when he was trying to help you.

You're just a piece of trash.

You also killed a senator in Texas, when he was sitting on a porch swing.

Everything happens to me. And now I'm shot by a child!

I'll shoot you again if you don't get up!

My father took you in when you were hungry.

Little busybody! I'll teach you a lesson you'll never forget.

Sis! Sis!

Hurry up! Down here!

Take her and go!

Up the hill with the horses and don't stop!

Who holds out there?

Marshal Rooster Cogburn and fifty other armed officers.

Tell me another lie and I'll stove in your head!

The truth! Who's out there?

Marshal Rooster Cogburn and a Texas Ranger.


Rooster, can you hear me?

You better answer or I'll kill this girl! You know I'll do it!

You want me to kill her?

Do what you think is best, Ned!

Why, you...

She's nothing to me! Nothing but a runaway!

You and that ranger get moving double fast!

If I see you riding over that north ridge, I'll spare the girl.

You got five minutes!

We'll need more than five minutes. I won't give you any more.

There'll be a party of marshals coming soon.

You give me Tom Chaney, and I'll mislead them for six hours.

Throw in that spitfire of a girl, too.

Too thin, Rooster, too thin!

I won't trust you.

Your five minutes are running. You better move!

All right, we're moving, but we need more than five minutes.

I never busted a cap on a woman or nobody under sixteen. But I'll do it.

I'm Mattie Ross of Yell County.

My family has property. Why am I being treated like this?

Well, it's enough that you know I'll do what I have to do.

I saw you shot. Where are your wounds?

My wounds heal by themselves from inside.

You and Harold stay here, keep a watch out below.

Keep this turkeycock quiet or we'll have him for supper.

Why don't you shut up?!

Is he simple-minded?

They're all touched, but Harold's the worst.

No, their ma's the worst, then his brother. But they're all good shots.

Get down!

I'll wring your scrawny neck!

No, you won't. Go and get those horses saddled!

Lend him a hand. You sit there and be still.

Your five minutes is up, they better show.

What are you doing here? Chaney shot my father to death.

I was told Rooster Cogburn has grit.

I hired him to go after the murderer. I shot him myself.

If I'd killed him, I wouldn't be in this fix. My gun misfired.

Well, they will do it.

Most girls like to play pretties, but you like guns.

If I did, I'd have one that worked.

I'll give them a little more time.

Did Rooster waylay us last night? Yes.

Did he take Quincy and Moon? They're both dead.

It was terrible to see. Do you need a good lawyer?

I need a good judge.

That man called Haze, he's dead, too. And the boy that saved your life.

I'm happy he did what he did, but he should've looked out for himself.

That goes for your good friend, Rooster.

Hey, Ned!

Rooster Cogburn is no good friend of mine.

He's a drunken, gabbing fool.

He led us right into your hands and left me with a gang of cut-throats.

They call that grit in Fort Smith?

We call it something else in Yell County.

I was shot from ambush by one of those officers.

How can you tell a big story like that?

We're five men and four horses. Chaney stays. You lost the horse.

I'll send someone to get you with a fresh mount.

I'm not staying with Chaney.

He won't harm you. Understand?

Rooster gave us six hours if we keep her safe. If you don't... don't get paid!

Let me ride with you, Farrell. No!

How about you, Bob? No!

Harold? Cock-a-doodle-doo!

Do it again, Harold! Do a goat! Baa! Baa!

We'll see you tonight at Maw's.

What are you doing? I'm getting water to wash my hands.

A little smut won't hurt you.

True. Or else you lot would surely be dead!

Don't provoke me.

There's rattlesnakes in that pit, and I'll throw you in it!

Ned Pepper said if you molest me, he'll not pay you. He's your boss.

He's no idea of paying me. He left me knowing I'd be caught.

If you let me go now, I'll keep silent about you for two days.

I can do better. I can shut you up forever!

All right, Chaney. That's enough.

Get your hands up.

Get over there. Everything's against me.

You hurt, Mattie? I'm the one that's hurt!

Where's Rooster? Below, in a place we can watch.

Where's Little Blackie? Rooster's got him.

Get over there and stay over there.

Watch out, he said there are snakes in that hole.

Where's the girl?

In wonderful health the last I saw her. I don't know now.

Answer for her now. Where is she?

Rooster! Make a run for it!

I got Mattie. Chaney, too!

Will you give us the road? I have business elsewhere.

Farrell, you and your brother stand clear.

I got no interest in you today. Stand clear, you won't get hurt.


You think one on four's a dogfall?

I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned.

Or see you hanged at Judge Parker's convenience. Which will it be?

I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!

Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!

Shoot them! Too far, moving too fast.

No grit? Rooster Cogburn? Not much!

Well, Rooster...

I'm shot to pieces.

Hurray for the man from Texas! Some bully shot!

Damn you, Bo.

First time you ever give me reason to... cuss you!

Help me!

Help me, I'm in the pit!

There's a snake down here and a skeleton.

There'll be another one before long. A little spindly one.

How do you like it?

Help me. Help me.

Please help me!

Are you saying you don't like it?

Baby sister!

Are you down there, sis? Yes, hurry! I'm in a bad way!

All right, hold on.

I'm gonna pitch you a rope. Slip it under your arms and tie a knot.

I can't! I'm caught and my arm is broken.

There are snakes down here.

It's in here now!

Hang on right here.

When you need a damn Texan, he's dead!

I ain't dead yet, you bushwacker! Hang on!

I want Papa's gun.

I want the other gold piece, too. You sure you don't want the snake?

No. But I want the gold piece. Forget it.

But it's mine and I want it!

That Texican... saved my neck twice.

Once after he was dead.

We'll have to do something about this snakebite in a hurry.

Hold this arm up, little sister.

We can't leave him like this. I'm the one that's leaving him.

If I don't get you a doctor, you'll be deader than he is.

Little Blackie can't carry us both. He'll have to. He's all I could catch.

Stop it!

We must stop, he's played out!

Stop it! You're killing him!

Hold it!

Fling them guns into that creek!

I'm borrowing this wagon off you.

Boots! Finch!



Am I addressing Marshal Reuben J Cogburn?

You're addressing him, Chen Lee and General Sterling Price.

Well... I'll not ask which is which.

But I'll identify myself.

I am lawyer, J Noble Daggett.

I'll be damned! What?

Well, you're not... exactly what we expected.

You're a little... You're shrunk!

I'll tell you frankly.

I fully intended to have you jailed, and I'm just the man who could do it.

But when Mattie told me the straight of the matter, I had second thoughts.

I still think you showed poor judgement in this affair, but you're not the scoundrel I took you for.

You have my thanks and, with certain reservations, my respect.

How nice! How is sis?

Gravely ill, I'm afraid.

But still able to direct her affairs.

She commissioned me to pay you the balance of the $75 due.

She didn't ask for a receipt, did she? As a matter of fact, she did.

You will find that it also covers an additional $200...

...for saving her life.

Well, I will be damned!

She says that when she goes home, she wants you to take her there.

Poor child does not know how ill she really is.

Lawyer, J Noble Daggett, are you a betting man?

On occasion.

All of this and General Price, that she makes it back to Yell County.

Oh, no!

No, sir, no, sir!

Why didn't you look up La Beef's girl in Waco?

I did the best I could.

I took the boy home to be buried in his ranger's suit.

No girl showed up. I don't believe there was one.

You were too busy collecting the reward.

I was just a little busy. They forgot how much the reward was.

I had to help them remember. I can imagine how you did that!

This is what I wanted you to see.

Papa's marker was not what was ordered.

I had to make that fool of a stoneman change it.

Some day, Mama will be here.

And my brother and his family over there.

And that is for my sister and her family.

And I will be here, on the other side of Papa.

It's comforting to know where we'll meet eternity.

I would like you to rest beside me, Rooster.

Now, sis, that place should be for your family, your husband, kids...

You have no kin. I don't count Chen Lee and the cat.

Where would you end up? A neglected patch of weeds?

I might just take you up on that offer, sis.

Excuse me if I don't try to move in too soon.

I think it's only right that you have Papa's gun.

It might keep you alive. I'm not so sure about that.

Almost got you killed when it misfired once!

Because you loaded it wrong in a state of drunkenness.

I ought to get you to show me how. I will.

Trust you to buy another tall horse. Yeah...

He's not as game as Bo, but Stonehill says he can jump a four-rail fence!

You're too old and too fat to be jumping horses!

Well, come to see a fat old man some time.

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